On November 11, 1918, at 11:00 a.m., the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, memorial gestures took place universally to recognize the ending of World War I fighting. In 1926, November 11 was officially named Armistice Day through a congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar congressional action. If the idealistic hope had been realized that World War I was "the War to end all Wars," November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe.
In 1953, Emporian Alvin J. King proposed that Armistice Day be changed to Veterans Day to recognize and honor all veterans from all wars and conflicts. Veterans Day was first organized and celebrated in Emporia in 1953. Kansas Congressman Ed Rees, also an Emporian, then took King’s proposal to Congress, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also of Kansas, signed the bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. The first nationwide observance of Veterans Day was on November 11, 1954.
Every year now, the President of the United States urges all Americans to honor the commitment of our Veterans through appropriate public ceremonies.
*All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Friday, November 1 - Friday, November 15 Veteran Artist Gallery Exhibit, Emporia Arts Center, emporiaksarts.org for hours
Friday, November 1 - Saturday, November 30 Library Display, Emporia Public Library, Library Hours
Tuesday, November 5 Tuesday Night at the Library & Museum, "Kansas Women, Work, & the Civil War" followed by Exhibit Opening & Reception at Museum, Emporia Public Library, 6:30 pm
Wednesday, November 6 Veteran Artist Exhibit Reception, Emporia Arts Center, 4:30 - 6:30 pm
Wednesday, November 6 Movie "From Here to Eternity", Emporia Granada Theatre, 7:00 pm
Thursday, November 7 Veterans Breakfast, Emporia Senior Center, 8:00 am
Thursday, November 7 Concert "Granger Smith", Emporia Granada Theatre, 7:00 pm
Thursday, November 7 Veterans Military Roundtable "Occupying Baghdad", Preston Family Room-ESU, 7:30 pm
Friday, November 8 Veterans Show off Your Talent Show, Albert Taylor Hall-ESU, 6:00 pm
Saturday, November 9 Quilts of Valor Presentation, American Legion, 11:00 am (Quilts on display October 9 - November 9 at the Emporia Public Library)
Saturday, November 9 ESU Football vs. NW Missouri St, Welch Stadium-ESU, 1:00 pm (Veteran recognition at halftime)
Sunday, November 10 Freedom Fest Run/Walk/Ride, All Veteran's Memorial, 8:00 am (register online at emporiamainstreet.com)
Sunday, November 10 Student Essay and Poster Awards, Emporia Middle School, 2:00 pm
Monday, November 11 Veterans Breakfast, Presbyterian Manor, 7:00 am
Monday, November 11 Veterans Day Parade, Downtown Emporia, 9:30 am
Monday, November 11 Memorial Service, All Veteran's Memorial, 11:00 am
Monday, November 11 Ham and Bean Feed, American Legion and VFW, 12:00 pm
Visit Emporia's Veterans Memorials:
All Veterans Memorial, 933 S. Commercial.
Civil War Veterans Monument, Fremont Park, 4th & Union and Maplewood & Memorial Lawn Cemetaries, 2000 Prairie.
Mexican-American WWII Veterans Memorial, 205 S. Lawrence.
Spanish-American War Memorial, S. Neosho & Kansas Ave. in Peter Pan Park.
Veterans Hall of Honor, Emporia State University, Memorial Union. Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday & Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
The Visitors Bureau is collecting Veteran’s Profiles to recognize Veterans. Deadline, October 1, each year for inclusion in print materials. For a Veteran’s Profile form, contact the Chamber & Visitors Bureau at (800) 279-3730, (620) 342-1803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.